Harriet Tubman wins 2020 Golden Halo!

Harriet Tubman Gold Halo winner

The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness congratulates Harriet Tubman for winning the 2020 Golden Halo. Harriet became the 11th saint to wear the highly coveted crown by defeating the always-inspiring and statuesque runner up, St. Joseph. She joins previous Golden Halo winners George Herbert (2010), C.S. Lewis (2011), Mary Magdalene (2012), Frances Perkins (2013), Charles Wesley (2014), Francis of Assisi (2015), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2016), Florence Nightingale (2017), Anna Alexander (2018), and Martha of Bethany (2019).

Harriet Tubman mugWhat’s nearly as important as announcing the Golden Halo winner? Sharing the Lentorium link to the winner’s swag! Be the first one on your block to order the official Harriet Tubman 2020 Golden Halo mug. Your brand new mug will ship later this spring in plenty of time for you to serve your friends warm beverages (from a safe distance and without touching anything).

Want to nominate a saint for Lent Madness 2021? Tim and Scott will be opening up the week-long nomination process (aka Nominationtide) in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Finally, blessings to all as we head into the Triduum and enter into the death and resurrection of our Lord. It’s been a privilege to have you join us on our Lenten pilgrimage. Stay safe out there, folks, and know that you remain in our prayers.

What is Spy Wednesday?

The entire world quivers in anticipation of the announcement of the winner of the epic Golden Halo battle between Harriet Tubman and Joseph. In regular Monday Madness episodes, Tim and Scott have often said this final round takes place on “Spy Wednesday.”

spywednesdaypaintingSeveral of you have asked us about this unusual name for the Wednesday in Holy Week. The Supreme Executive Committee are always glad to SECsplain things, so herewith we offer some background on the name Spy Wednesday.

Spy Wednesday gets its name because this is the day on which Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. Because Judas is thought to be sneaky, his actions conjured up the image of a spy. The synoptic gospels all include an account of the betrayal — Matthew 26:12-14, Mark 14:10-12, Luke 22:3-6.

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For the Golden Halo: Harriet Tubman vs. Joseph

It’s hard to believe our Lent Madness journey is nearing its inevitable end. We kicked things off over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday” with 32 saintly souls (which somehow seems a lot longer than that this year). With your help, the field has now been whittled down to just two: Harriet Tubman and Joseph. Who will be awarded the coveted 2020 Golden Halo? That, friends, is up to you.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we’ve met some truly remarkable holy people along the way. Perhaps you learned about some folks you’d never heard of or maybe you renewed acquaintances with saints who have long offered inspiration. Of course the entire notion of placing saints in a bracket is absurd — each “contestant” has already earned a crown of righteousness in addition to a “golden halo.” But at the heart of Lent Madness is the abiding conviction that encountering those who have come before us in the faith enriches and enlivens our own walk with the risen Christ.

In the process of this whimsical Lenten devotion we’ve all made some new online friends, encountered a community of believers who take their faith but not themselves too seriously, learned some things, were inspired by saintly witnesses, and hopefully had some fun along the way. Read more »

Elizabeth Fry vs. Joseph

Who will face Harriet Tubman for the coveted 2020 Golden Halo? That’s the question we’ll answer today as Elizabeth Fry faces Joseph, following Harriet’s victory over Hildegard of Bingen 58% to 42%.

To make it to the Faithful Four, Elizabeth Fry defeated Florian, Clare of Assisi, and Margaret of Castello, while Joseph took down Joshua, Elizabeth, and Joanna the Myyrhbearer. (again, click on the defeated saint’s name to read the previous write-ups). We’re grateful to Celebrity Bloggers Amber Belldene (Elizabeth Fry) and Neva Rae Fox (Joseph) for shepherding their respective saints all the way to the Faithful Four.

Then, once the final matchup is settled, the Championship round will take place tomorrow on Spy Wednesday, with the winner announced at 8:00 am on Maundy Thursday.

But we still have a ways to go yet. So read, watch yesterday’s last in-season episode of Monday Madness, and then vote! Though not necessarily in that order.

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Monday Madness — Faithful Four Edition

As we enter into the high excitement of the Faithful Four, Tim and Scott are back with the last in-season episode of Monday Madness. That’s a lot of pressure, but they rise to the occasion with another “action-packed” show. This time, they wax nostalgic about Lent Madness 2020, as well as looking ahead to the championship round on Spy Wednesday.*

The Supreme Executive Committee also recognizes an excellent fan film from the good people of the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana. Make sure you watch their great work. It involves peg dolls, which is more than we can say for Monday Madness.

Oh, and it’s never too soon to pre-order your Lent Madness 2020 Golden Halo Winner mug! Since you’re stuck at home and can’t get your mall fix, why not enjoy the thrill of waiting for a new mug while browsing through the Lentorium. Sorry, no food court.

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Harriet Tubman vs. Hildegard of Bingen

Welcome to the Faithful Four! From an initial field of 32 saints, we are down to a holy four: Harriet Tubman, Hildegard of Bingen, Elizabeth Fry, and Joseph. In just a few short days, one of these saintly souls will be awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

To get to this point, Harriet took down Julie Billiart, James Solomon Russell, and Herman of Alaska, while Hildegard got past Romanos the Melodist, Elizabeth the New Martyr ,and Brother Lawrence. (note: click on the name of the vanquished saint to read that round’s write-up)

Throughout Lent Madness, our saintly heroes have battled via basic bios, quirks and quotes, and event kitsch. In this round, we let our remaining Celebrity Bloggers loose as they answer the question “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” In other words, they’ve been charged with letting us know why their particular saint is so awesome. We have also invited them to share their two favorite images of their saints.

And as a side note, not that our wonderful Celebrity Bloggers are competing against each other per se, but this matchup does contain an interesting twist as our two newest Lent Madness contributors work to advance their respective saints. Both Sandra Montes and Miguel Escobar work at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Sandra as Interim Worship Director and Miguel as Executive Director of Anglican Studies. Talk about in-house bragging rights!

Well, it’s time to vote. Go do your thing!

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Margaret of Castello vs. Elizabeth Fry

Congratulations! We’ve collectively (almost) made it through another whole week in unusual times. Lent Madness-wise, we’ve nearly completed the Elate Eight. One more matchup to go to round out next week’s Faithful Four as we continue our march to the 2020 Golden Halo.

Today, Margaret of Castello meets Elizabeth Fry as they vie for the last remaining spot in the Faithful Four. To get here, Margaret got past Simon Gibbons and Eva Lee Matthews, while Elizabeth bested Florian and Clare of Assisi. Who will join Harriet Tubman, Joseph, and Hildegard of Bingen (who narrowly defeated Brother Lawrence 52% to 48%) to make it to the next round? Well, that’s up to you.

We’ll be back on Monday morning as Harriet Tubman faces Hildegard for a shot at the Championship round. Stay safe everyone!

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Hildegard of Bingen vs. Brother Lawrence

Hey, guess what? We’re halfway through the Elate Eight! Yesterday, Joseph swept past Joanna the Myrrhbearer 69% to 31% to join Harriet Tubman as the first two saints to make it to the Faithful Four.

Today Hildegard of Bingen squares off against Brother Lawrence for a shot at Harriet. To get to this round, Hildegard got by Romanos the Melodist and Elizabeth the New Martyr, while Brother Lawrence upset both Patrick and Margery Kempe.

So, how’s your bracket going? For those of you who filled out brackets in advance, are you thriving, surviving, or dying? We want to know! But first, go do your civic Lenten duty and cast today’s vote.

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Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph

Congratulations! You survived the first go-round of saintly kitsch. Which is more than we can say for Herman of Alaska who lost to Harriet Tubman 61% to 39% to claim the first spot in the Faithful Four.

Next up is Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph as they vie to represent the Biblical quadrant in the next round. To make it to this point, Joanna defeated Junia and Bartimaeus, while Joseph took down Joshua and Elizabeth. Now, some saints have lend themselves to kitsch more easily than others. Today’s matchup is a perfect example of the feast and famine nature of the Elate Eight. But this is why we employ such talented Celebrity Bloggers who, at times, must tap into their unceasing creativity to bring the kitsch.

Oh, and PLEASE don’t forget that you can read all the great information posted by our Celebrity Bloggers in previous rounds by heading over to the handy Bracket tab. Time to vote!

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Excitement Builds Over Elate Eight

We’re just getting started in the Elate Eight, as the field of competitors vying for the Golden Halo has narrowed to just eight saints. Excitement is high, and if you want evidence, look no further than the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana. They’ve made a fantastic trailer to promote voting in the Elate Eight. We love our fans, and we wanted to share with you this great work from ardent fans.

Turn up your sound, make the video full screen, and enjoy!

Lent Madness 2020 – 'The Elate Eight' from Cathedral of Saint James on Vimeo.

If you haven’t voted yet, go do that. And tell all your friends and neighbors to take part in the World’s Greatest Online Lenten Devotion. We are also the longest-running global bracket competition now at eleven years, since that other basketball bracket thing suspended this year.

Who will win the Golden Halo? That’s up to you, the Lent Madness public. It will all be decided in the next few days.

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